Friday, 1 January 2010

Kate's Crow: we're underway!

Happy new year! Best wishes to everyone for the coming year, and a big thank-you to everyone who took the trouble to read my blog or to leave comments during 2009. This has been my first venture into blogging, and the warmth, support, and generosity of spirit I've found in the online sewing community has been wonderful. You are all amazing people.

But back to business. I had more time to myself than expected today, after blizzard conditions meant that a family New Year party I'd been going to was cancelled at the last moment. It was a shame not to see a few people I haven't seen in far too long, but I'm sure we'll have another chance to catch up, and at least I could spend my new free time productively, working on Kate's Crow.

This is probably going to sound a bit familiar to any regulars, but the first stage was to make a transfer of the design with a transfer pencil, and iron it onto some linen. This was then stitched onto the silk matka that will form the background fabric for the piece, and the edges overlocked for strength. I then mounted the joint layers of fabric onto a floor-standing embroidery frame.

So, here's the ironed-on transfer, on the back of the fabric:

Apologies for the typically duff photos, by the way. I think a good new year resolution would be to learn how to take decent photographs.

Anyway, you may notice that the design is the wrong way round; that'll all come right when it gets onto the front. I'm using my usual method of going over the transfer with small running stitches. As it's quite a complex design, if I try and do the whole lot at once I'll end up hopelessly confused, and I think mistakes would be inevitable. So, I'm going to do the design a bit at a time.

To start with, I tacked over the outer circle and the crow outline itself, in a light grey sewing cotton:

I then stitched over these running stitches in chain stitch, using Gütermann metallic thread no. 41 (silver, in other words). Here it is partially done:

And now with the circle and the crow completed:

The stitching looks white here, but it is actually silver, and looks quite sparkly in real life.

The next step is to tackle the spirals, a bit at a time...


  1. This is a beautiful design!
    I'm looking forward to see next post - you do exquisite works.
    Have a great 2010!

  2. Happy New Year - I'm looking forward to following your work this year.

  3. this is a gorgeous design, thanks for the comments on my blog, i hope the books prove to be of some use, the elizabeth white one is better for uk, as meg's is more geared towards usa, but both are excellent for inspiration. have a fab new year weekend, i spoke to my sis in hexham and she said the snow is really bad up there, we hardly have any down here, enjoy it!!

  4. Hi there, I'm new to your blog - I came across it today. I just wanted to say that your work is amazing. Happy New Year.

  5. I'm so pleased you like it! Good luck with your new blog, and happy new year!